Sarah,If you could find a review of it in French that would not be a problem. Both of my kids speak it, as does one of my best friends.
Esse has a hot water option as well... that Cuisiniere looks really nice and that your building a room for it, I'm sure you could accommodate the offset pipe..The number one priority for us right now is to find a stove that will heat our house as well as cook our food, as we are determined to NOT spend over $3000 in heating oil this winter. It was brutal! Where we live a wood stove could come on in September, and not go out until May or June, as well as many night during the "summer" so it will be getting a workout.
The Esse sure is beautiful, and that is one of the reasons that I like the Cuisiniere because it has a similar look to it, but potentially could be our only stove. Whereas everything that I have read about the Esse suggests that it is a good room heater, but would struggle to heat the entire house.
The Kitchen Queen, while not very nice to look at, would have the option of hooking up a hot water radiator in our back room where I think it will be difficult for the heat to reach because of the layout, so that is even better.
With the massive cast iron top and dog bone cooking plates on the Esse, it takes at least a good hour or more to get up to temps.. 700 lbs does not heat up quickly.. The nice thing,,, you have nice even cooking temps and heat output.. LOL I wouldn't want to think what that cast iron top would cost to replace if you cracked that from a ragging cold start fire.. I let things heat up slowly when it comes to cast iron,,, even my pans The Esse you can cook on the hot side top over the fire box or slide your pan over to the right were the dog bone channels underneath restrict the heat, so you have a cooler right side to cook on.. Sometimes I even add a trivet... After a full season of cooking, you can see the channels under the dog bone... One heavy sucker.. They make screw in handles that thread into the dog bone so you can lift it off the stove top.. Stayed very clean as the channels can really get caked up big time you you burn green wood or don't run the stove correctly. You can see the whilte fire box side verses the cooler black side..When looking at a cookstove I think one should focus on functionality and performance first, not so much on the looks. First and foremost, it should be a pleasure to cook on. That means it should heat well and evenly and that the oven temps should be very controllable and predictable. It should be easy to clean (some definitely are not). It should be flexible for direct flame heating on a pot (variable sized lids are nice). It should warm up quickly (well for a wood cook stove at least). It should be durable and parts should be available for years to come. That means a very well designed and constructed firebox. If a longer fire for heating is desired it should have a larger firebox. For these reasons the Esse gets my vote, though a Heartland Oval would also be on my list.
No, I have shot that dog bone griddle over the fire box which has shown over 1000 degrees at times.. I'd say that's more then enough heat... If you have a removable top it would now make my stove not air tight, thus disrupt my secondary air supply that comes in over the top of the fire.. Once the stove is going that's all I run, I shut down the primary and just run the secondary.. I think those removable burner plates are on a non EPA stove.. The Esse is a clean burner.. 3 months into burning and I could still see a some what shiny pipe looking up my outside clean out tee. Here we are canning, plenty of heat when you need it!Yes, warm up time is relative. 1 hr for a cookstove is not bad at all. Can you remove a cover over the fire to expose the pan bottom directly to the fire? This is handy for a big pasta pot.
Yes being airtight , you get a lot more even heat over a longer period of time.... BeGreen, ahh,,, just bite the bullet and get a cook stove.. Truthfully you would really feel that it was money well spent, especially if you get the stove you really want.. There's nothing better then smelling something simmering on top as you walk into a pleasantly warm house from your cook stove.. You would never be without one again... Power goes out who cares, your still cooking like always, room to make big pots of hot water for coffee , tea, warm up some hot cocca, what ever you can imagine..It will certainly grow on you.. Bread it bakes is awesome... I'll have you talked into one before longGood point, I've only cooked on older cookstoves and hadn't thought about the difference between the two. That makes sense.
Sounds like your all set ......No need to convince me. Once I got the hang of it I liked cooking on the wood cookstove. I actually got to be pretty good at baking in one. Still, my wife is not a fan. It would be a very hard sell. We are set for stoves and heat. The Alderlea does a great job in outages with it's variable temp trivet top and we have a gas cooktop stove too.